In a small kitchen, counter space is a precious resource. Without the proper space to chop vegetables and season your meats, you might feel discouraged from cooking at all. It probably seems more manageable to eat instant noodles or order cheap and easy takeout instead of cooking more nutritious meals in cramped conditions.
While renovating your kitchen isn’t always an option, it is possible to expand your counter space to make cooking a more enjoyable experience. With a bit of creativity and these five tips, you can make the best use of every square inch of your kitchen.
Invest In A Wall Oven/Microwave Combo
If your microwave’s home is on your kitchen counter, it could be taking up a good deal of valuable counter space. While you may have considered mounting your microwave under a cabinet, there’s an even better space-saving move that can add a built-in, custom look to your kitchen.
Investing in a wall oven/microwave combination like these from Goedeker’s can help you merge two of your kitchen’s most essential gadgets. As a result, your counters can stay free of bulky appliances, and you’ll have a convenient super-machine that can reheat leftover pizza and bake homemade cookies all in one place.
Turn Your Stovetop Or Sink Into A Cutting Board
As you’re prepping all of the ingredients you need for a delicious dinner, it might be frustrating to navigate a crowded countertop while your stove sits empty, waiting for the actual cooking to start. With custom wooden burner covers, you can chop vegetables and slice raw meat right on top of your stove before you begin boiling or pan-frying your ingredients.
However, your stove may not be the only underutilized area for meal prep in your kitchen. Find a large cutting board and place it over your sink to create a multi-purpose space perfect for food-washing and dicing away.
Install Vertical Storage Options
Kitchen countertops may feel like the best place to store cooking utensils and commonly-used ingredients for easy access. However, you’re missing out on precious counter space by keeping everything you need in areas best reserved for cutting boards and meal prep. Your kitchen likely has many places for vertical storage that you’re underutilizing.
For example, your backsplash is the perfect area to install shelving or railing to hang pots, pans, and cooking utensils off of. Hanging a pegboard on your wall also allows you to customize how you hang items as you add and subtract kitchen tools to and from your arsenal.
If you’re afraid of intensive vertical storage options or you don’t have the time for a large project, a more straightforward way of keeping items off of your counters is to use magnets. Fasten metal sheets under your cabinets and glue magnets to the lids of your spice jars to suspend them above your counter while still keeping them close at hand. You can also screw hanging hooks into the bottom of your cabinets and hang up your mugs and other cooking gear.
Purchase Or Build A Portable Kitchen Island
With a small kitchen, likely, you don’t have a kitchen island to take advantage of, and you might not want one permanently installed, as this can introduce a recipe-soiling roadblock. However, if you have a bit of extra floor space to spare, purchasing or building a freestanding island can help you add additional counter space to your kitchen when you need it. If you need the extra space in your kitchen, you can wheel your island to another room to store it out of the way. A kitchen island will also add extra storage space to your kitchen that you can move your previous countertop occupants into.
Opt For A Space-Saving Dish Drying Rack
Even if you have a dishwasher, chances are, you’ll still need to wash a few items by hand. When you’re looking for a dish-drying rack, a bulky rack that takes up your valuable counter space isn’t the only option you have for drying your dishes. Instead of a plastic or wire dish rack that takes up too much space, consider investing in a dish rack you can fold up and store away while you’re cooking and meal prepping.
The Bottom Line
Your kitchen should be an open, dynamic space that welcomes culinary experimentation and dinner parties aplenty with friends and family. Remember, keeping your countertops clear for all of your cooking needs is the best way to set yourself up for success in the kitchen.
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